Director – Jeff Hathcock (Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell, Night Ripper)
Starring – Ava Kauffman, Robert Axelrod (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Check It Out! With Steve Brule), and Lonny Withers (Streets of Death)
Release Date – 1985
Rating – 2/5
Blu Release – 3/5
I love crossing paths with rare slashers. Most horror fans look for lost and unknown S.O.V. horror flicks but I find more joy out of washing slashers. I love their simple premises and clichéd deaths. I’ve found several while movie hunting over the years in different pawn shops, thrift stores, and flea markets. Some of the ones I found were bootlegs with no proper release of them to date.
Not long ago Olive Films announced their collaboration with Slasher//Video on the release of their film Victims! on blu. This was a slasher I was not familiar with but with Slasher//Video’s track record I was excited to check it out. I reached out to Olive Films and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows four young women who want to get away from life, and their men, who head out to the desert for a weekend getaway. Things start out perfectly with the four enjoying themselves and relaxing but things turn deadly when they find themselves being stalked by two serial killers with a taste for women. They abduct the women and force them to do crude things to each other before they start fighting back in order to survive.**Spoiler Alert**
I love slashers. They are easily my favorite sub-genre next to zombie pre-The Walking Dead. I really enjoy those gritty slashers where you have to adjust the setting on your television to just be able to see the people. Those were some of my favorite film to rent growing up so its nice to see labels like Olive Films releasing these films on blu. Sadly, Victims is not one of the best slashers I’ve seen but I’m glad I was able to watch it.
The acting in this one is solid in some of the scenes and horrible in others. In a few of the scenes we get some genuine dialogue and solid acting. Sadly, in other scenes we get some of the worst dialogue I have ever heard spewed from an actor’s mouth. This, and some horrible fight scenes, result in a almost laughable performance from the cast.
The story for this one could have worked and been a better slasher than The Forest but the film failed to actually to feel dangerous. As the film unfolds the viewer never fears for the girls’ life. The film just doesn’t feel scary…at all. The killers are weak and not menacing at all.
Finally, the film does have a few kills that look fun but as the film progresses they are nowhere to be found. The practical effects are simple but fun for a slasher. Overall, Victims! has a lot of problems. There is several things working against the film but I still enjoyed myself mostly just the nostalgic feeling of watching an relatively unknown slasher that I had never seen before. Slasher fans will want this release to add to their collection.
Interview with director Jeff Hathcock